It would have been perfect if only…

I moved a large marble table to get the perfect framing. I moved the lever back and forth endlessly until I was certain the focus was perfect. But when I pulled the tab on the polaroid, the film came out sliding on the emulsion and a gooey, unfortunate, light-leaking mess.

Not so perfect.

On New Year’s Day, an informal survey of Facebook status updates revealed that 2009 was not all that popular. A year that could “eat me,” in some circles. A year worthy of  warnings to not the let door slam its ass on the way out. That sort of year. But in between the you-suck’s and middle fingers, came a quieter and more gentle voice.  An “I liked you, 2009” and “You were one of my favorites.”

Me, I stand firmly on the sidelines, not knowing what to think. In many ways, I feel the dizzying blur of having been spun from the hand of my dance partner to the edge of the dance floor after a very, very long night of dancing. For me, 2009 was busy and in constant flux, unpredictable and tiring. But in that constant flow of change, I was consistently thrust into the arms of another, better opportunity. Almost effortlessly, just like a dance.

It would have been perfect if only I wasn’t working so much. If only I’d had a few more weeks of vacation, a few more stops along the way and seen a few more familiar faces. If only there had been fewer hiccups and shifting sands. A few more deep breaths. If only there had been a little more time to do the things I set out to do when the year began. But then there was Tokyo. And great new opportunity.  And many familiar faces. And my heart wide, wide open.

It was a year that didn’t feel very perfect at the time. But here I am standing precisely one million miles from where I stood in January 2009, and for that alone, the past year looks pretty perfect to me.

11 Responses to “It would have been perfect if only…”

  1. hannah says:

    spot on lady. spot on.

  2. BF says:

    damn. really good stuff here.

  3. hiki says:

    Happy 2010 Stephanie!
    Imperfection could be a part of perfection, I guess sometimes.
    There is a saying in Japanese that if it ends well all is good ;)

  4. julia says:

    yup yup. i’ve come to the conclusion that 2009 was definitely not my best year yet, or nearly the worst. but it was, quietly, a very very good one.

  5. rachel says:

    I am totally with you. I think often if we look at it from a different perspective we find that the past isn’t all that bad. My 2009 was pretty great…even though nothing much happened.

  6. martha says:

    I always tell my students that their work needs to be ugly for awhile, for it to get really good. it won’t be great without that awkward part.
    I think life is sort of like that too.

  7. sara says:

    it sounds perfect.

  8. tuttle says:

    i love your words.

  9. hanne says:

    i love your words. so good.

  10. Rachell says:

    What a beautiful post. I love the way you tell a story.

  11. lisa says:

    Impressive how you crystallize concepts.
    I think you’re ‘not so perfect’ shot is beautiful because of the light leak’s and the emulsion’s contribution.
    The whole process…
    which I think is what you were wholly conveying.

    2009 was fine–
    2010, embolden.

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